Thursday, September 29, 2011

Reconnecting: Crew and Sailing Friends

Many of you have asked: Do the two of you sail across the ocean to the BVI alone?

The answer is: We could, but we don't! You need several people to handle the night watches and help with navigation, repairs, etc. Someone needs to be awake and alert on deck at all times.

Nirit crossing Magnetic Sky getting
to her boat Passerpartout
There are some couples who sail double-handed. We met a delightful couple from Israel who have sailed the Mediterranean, across the Atlantic, down the island chain and up to New England. They are working their way back to the islands for the winter and will cross the Atlantic again to return home in May or June. We had hoped to sail the Med with them next summer, but it is not looking like we will now. Maybe we will meet up with them over there in 2013.
We are happy to have Bob return as crew this year. He and I had a lot of time to discuss leadership. In fact, I recently had him join me in a leadership training session I was conducting. If was interesting to see someone in a different context. He is looking forward to sailing with us again.

Why did the Mahi Mahi have to
hit right at dinner time?
And his friend Larry is joining the crew. We are looking forward to sailing with Larry as he has a reputation for ocean fishing. We are hoping to learn a lot from him. While we had success catching Mahi Mahi last year, we are hoping to have a shot at Wahoo and whatever else is out there. While sailing from Tortola to Bermuda, I saw a huge school of fish with a bright -almost neon - pink stripe on their sides shooting out of waves and diving into the next one. There must have been hundreds of them and I still haven't figured out what they were. Hopefully Larry can tell me what they were!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Preparing for 2011 Caribbean 1500

I can't believe we are only six weeks away from heading to the islands again! The summer has flown by and we have only been to Maryland once to work on the boat. I am learning that there is always work to do and it truly is a hole in the water into which you pour $$$! But it is worth it!

Out with the old!
We are installing all new electronics since ours are 10 years old. As soon as they are in, we will put the boat back in the water to test everything. Then we have to learn to work the new system. I am hoping that the processes will be more logical and easier to use than the old ones.

We are adding new dock lines and outhaul. Our sunsceen was so wonderful that we have added more coverage so we can eat dinner on deck without being blinded by the sun - something our Michigan friends won't be seeing everyday unless they come to sail with us! And we have added cockpit cushions. This will make it easier on the knees when moving around in the cockpit. Not to mention the backside!

The crossing last fall and return with the Atlantic Cup Rally helped to identify areas where we needed to increase the robustness of our equipment. When your boat is your lifeline and is a totally self-sufficient environment, you must make sure everything is performing at peak levels. We were very comfortable living aboard. By adding the cushions, it will be easier to stretch out in the cockpit.

It is tight quarters in the galley!
Next step for me is to start planning the meals and do the provisioning. It will be easier this year since I have had the experience once. I did a very good job last year. We even gave away a lot (too much) food when we left to return home for the holidays. The local people appreciate getting what we cannot use or leave onboard. Since you can't know exactly how many days you may be on the ocean, you have to prepare for extra days just in case. This year my extra food will be coming out of cans that can be left onboard!